Boulder, CO (April 16, 2014): Naropa University has signed an agreement to become the first North American university authorized to offer an accredited study abroad program through the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB), the national university located on multiple campuses across the Kingdom. Launching in January 2015, this new program will offer students the opportunity to deepen their roles as global citizens and to cultivate leadership and intercultural communication skills through international learning at the RUB. For more information, please visit naropa.edu/bhutan.
The Bhutan Study Abroad Program (BSAP) will be open to Naropa undergraduate students, as well as those studying at other U.S. colleges. Students will study Bhutanese culture, customs, spiritual identity, and diverse ethnography, as well as issues of modern Bhutan, a small Buddhist kingdom at the Eastern end of the Himalayas. Located between India and China, Bhutan is part of the greater geo-political landscape facing the challenge of preserving and maintaining its deep cultural and spiritual heritage while also supporting citizens as they become interconnected members of an increasingly linked world.
"We are honored to have been selected as a partner to the Royal University of Bhutan as the North American university offering this unique study abroad program," said Naropa President Charles G. Lief. "Bhutan is one of the extraordinary places on earth, with a kind and generous population, physical beauty, and determination to integrate 21st century progress with its deeply rooted spirituality. This student-to-student exchange can lead to lifelong friendships and collaborations."
Through this program, students will fully immerse themselves in the Bhutanese world and understand first-hand the concept of Gross National Happiness, the unique and comprehensive set of metrics developed in 1972 to measure economic, social, and environmental progress. Local and regional governments throughout the world have adapted forms of this system of measurement as a more holistic way to understand social dynamics and economic progress.
The semester-long program will include an online orientation prior to departure, and begin in Bhutan with a three-week intensive orientation offered by Naropa faculty. Students will then move to one of the selected RUB campuses, live in dorms with Bhutanese roommates, and enroll in two courses. Courses will cover topics such as traditional culture and contemporary issues of Bhutan, contemplative studies and intercultural awareness, and environmental sustainability. Students will also have the option to participate in guided independent study of a topic they want to research while in Bhutan.
Naropa University faculty has been working with counterparts at RUB to create curricula in the areas of education, counseling psychology, and environmental studies. Naropa faculty will spend time in Bhutan each year, and Naropa is pleased to regularly host Bhutanese scholars in Boulder. This unique study abroad program is an important deepening of the inter-university relationship.
About Naropa University (www.naropa.edu): Located in Boulder, Colorado, Naropa University is a private, liberal arts institution offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2014-15, Naropa University is a leader in contemplative education, an approach to learning and teaching that integrates Eastern wisdom studies and traditional Western scholarship. Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.